Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 42
 
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
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LIDO SHUFFLE: Princeton High boys’ soccer senior star Lido Guzman controls the ball in recent action. Last Thursday, Guzman contributed a goal and an assist as PHS topped WW/P-S 5-1 to improve to 10-0-1. The victory extended the team’s unbeaten streak to 36. In upcoming action, PHS has a game at Lawrence High on October 21 before starting play in the Mercer County Tournament on October 23 as it begins its quest for a fourth straight county crown.

With Guzman Bringing Variety to Attack, PHS Boys’ Soccer Aiming for More Titles

Bill Alden

Although Lido Guzman wasn’t a headliner for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team last season, he was on the field for many crucial moments as the team went undefeated on the way to the Group III state championship.

This fall, the battle-tested Guzman is looking to apply the lessons he learned from being involved in those high stakes contests.

“I know that the coach and the team relies on me a lot now for my experience,” said Guzman. “I am trying to do the best I can.”

Last week against Ewing, Guzman gave PHS some of his best play of the season, contributing a goal and an assist as the Little Tigers topped the Blue Devils 4-0.

Guzman triggered things for PHS as he notched the first goal of the contest just 2:25 into the game.

“I wasn’t looking for anything too complicated,” said Guzman in reflecting on his tally.

“I knew it was a free kick and our coach likes us to do low crosses on those. I was in the right position at the right time and I played it in.”

On his assist, which came midway through the second half, Guzman played it well to Colin Lamb as he banged it home to give PHS a 3-0 lead.

“I was up top by myself and I was just waiting for support,” recalled Guzman. “I saw Colin making a run and I slipped it to him.”

While the PHS defense has been solid this season, the team has been waiting for the attack to start producing more goals.

“I think defensively we are good,” said Guzman. “Right now, we are working on our forward play. I think we are making a lot of progress. It is going well.”

In Guzman’s view, the four-goal output against Ewing was a step in the right direction.

“It gave us confidence, our goal was to get a goal early,” said Guzman, who added a goal and an assist last Thursday as the PHS attack kept rolling with 5-1 win at WW/P-S to improve to 10-0-1.

“We wanted to try to get the momentum and get going. We put a lot of pressure on them.”

Guzman believes he can put PHS’s foes under pressure by utilizing his versatility.

“I play outside midfield and forward,” explained Guzman. “When I am outside, you could consider me a playmaker; I feel better getting the assist than the goal. But I play up top too.”

PHS head coach Wayne Sutcliffe likes the variety Guzman brings to the table.

“I was pleased with his effort today; he showed what he is capable of,” said Sutcliffe.

“He is just going to keep getting better in those spots with his possession. He is an attacking-minded player but he can pull off plays.”

Sutcliffe liked the plays his attack made against Ewing as PHS grabbed a 2-0 halftime lead and didn’t let up in pulling away to the 4-0 triumph.

“We wanted to try to get command of it early,” said Sutcliffe. “The two early goals were good and the two in the second half were quality.”

The Little Tigers showed quality throughout their lineup as Ben Davis and John Blair joined Guzman and Lamb on the score sheet.

“Next to the number of goals we scored, that was the most important thing that happened,” said Sutcliffe. “We have had so many tight games. We are all so proud of all of our guys and we want to reward them with minutes.”

In Sutcliffe’s view, the team’s recent goal production is the reward for some hard toil on the practice field.

“We are connecting; we have spent the last three weeks trying to emphasize building into the front third,” said Sutcliffe, whose team extended its unbeaten streak to 36 with the win over WW/P-S.

“We want to be a little more creative and dynamic. Our guys have the technical ability to do all this stuff. It is just a matter of working in training and getting on the same page.”

With the Mercer County Tournament and the state tourney just around the corner, Sutcliffe believes his team has the ability to add to the program’s tradition of postseason success.

“We don’t talk about records or streaks,” said Sutcliffe, whose team has a game at Lawrence High on October 21 before starting play in the MCT on October 23 as it seeks its fourth straight county crown.

“We just work to never, ever let them get ahead of themselves. It is all about honesty, simplicity, and the next game. Every single guy has to get a little better which is how we did it last year.”

Guzman and his teammates are primed for tournament time. “We are looking forward to that; like our coach says everyone wants to beat Princeton,” said Guzman.

“We are going to try to keep our streak going but it is really about how hard we work in practice. It’s not like we can’t do anything previous teams did.”

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